Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi completes successful kidney transplant

Physicians at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi successfully completed a kidney transplant operation in May, taking the hospital another step towards providing full transplant facilities in-line with the recent changes in UAE legislation.

The surgery was the first kidney transplant conducted at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

The patient, Moza Salem Almansouri, a 73-year-old UAE national who suffers from both diabetes and hypertension, received a new kidney that was donated by her son, Sultan Saeed Altamimi. Following the successful operation, she will not have to undergo dialysis treatment and will enjoy a significantly improved quality of life.

Dr. Bashir Sankari, Chief of the Surgical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, who was lead surgeon for the operation, explains: “By coming to the hospital for a pre-emptive transplant before needing to commence dialysis treatment, the patient has been able to add both quality and quantity of life. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi aims to bring multidisciplinary expertise in a range of fields to the UAE, and this first successful transplant operation demonstrates the huge positive impact that these operations can offer.”

A veteran of Cleveland Clinic for more than 25 years, Dr. Sankari has performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants during his career.

The patient was offered the opportunity to travel abroad for the transplant but opted to remain in the UAE, citing the family’s preference to be treated closer to home.

“We decided to stay in the country and do the surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi because I trust that our medical staff and our services are among the best in the world. Our leadership is working relentlessly to elevate our healthcare services and infrastructure to world-class standards,” explained Sultan Al Tamimi, the patient’s son and kidney donor. “My mother’s condition continues to improve. She visits the clinic regularly for medical check-ups and the results are so far so good. Our entire family is very happy to see her improvement.”

Sultan agreed to donate his kidney to his mother without any hesitation. He said: “This is also the Year of Giving in the UAE, which corresponds to our true nature as a nation. Donating a kidney is something small, compared to all she has given to our familiy throughout her life.”

After being discharged from the hospital, the patient now receives regular follow-up from a broad care team of physicians, social workers, dieticians and transplant coordinators at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to help her continue her journey to better health.

More than 2,000 patients in the UAE currently undergo regular dialysis treatment for kidney diseases. Patients who choose to have transplant surgery before reaching the dialysis stage typically enjoy better outcomes and better survival rates, so the expansion of transplant facilities is another positive development in the nation’s healthcare sector.

The UAE has made significant progress in the legal framework surrounding organ transplants in recent years. The National Organ Transplant Committee is also developing a system to allow residents to register as possible donors via their Emirates ID Card.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has been developing extensive transplant facilities to support a full range of transplant operations. Transplant patients benefit from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s group practice model, which brings together a broad spectrum of specialists from a variety of disciplines to deliver the best possible patient outcomes.

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